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The Big Cube (1969)

M  |   |  Thriller, Drama  |  30 April 1969 (USA)
4.5
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 376 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 19 critic

A former actress clashes with her wealthy and spoiled stepdaughter over their inheritance after the death of their protector.

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Adriana Roman
...
Johnny Allen
Richard Egan ...
Frederick Lansdale
...
Charles Winthrop (as Daniel O'Herlihy)
Karin Mossberg ...
Lisa Winthrop
Pamela Rodgers ...
Bibi
Carlos East ...
Lalo
Augusto Benedico ...
Dr. Lorenz
Víctor Junco ...
Delacroix (as Victor Junco)
Norma Herrera ...
Stella
Pedro Galván ...
University Dean (as Pedro Galvan)
Regina Torné ...
Queen Bee (as Regina Torne)
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Storyline

Renowned stage actress Adriana Roman, the muse of playwright Frederick Lansdale, is retiring to marry tycoon, Charles Winthrop. The marriage does not sit well with Charles' daughter, Lisa Winthrop, who dislikes her new stepmother if only because she is the other woman for her father's affections. However, on her father's urging, Lisa tries to get to know Adriana, to who she slowly warms. Meanwhile, Lisa attracts the attention of Johnny Allen, a womanizing, fortune hunting medical student who uses the school lab to produce and sell acid among the hip, mod crowd he hangs around. He romances naive Lisa who falls under his spell. After an incident with Charles, Johnny, sensing an opportunity to abscond with at least some of the Winthrop fortune by using Lisa's mistrust of Adriana, manipulates Lisa into trying to make Adriana go crazy, in large part through the lacing of her sedatives with acid. Adriana begins to hallucinate that Lisa and Johnny are trying to kill her, which is what they ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Poor daddy. Bibi was just shedding her inhibitions. So he threw the gang out. He never should have done it. Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never. See more »

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Terrón de azúcar  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Karin Mossberg's dialogue was dubbed by another actress. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Allen: [Putting his arm around her] Do you know you really turn me on?
Girl sketching model: [Disinterested] Since when?
Johnny Allen: Since now. I belong to 'The Now Generation.'
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood High (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Lean on Me
Music by Val Johns
Lyrics by Howard Finkelstein
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Oh Lana--How Could You?
17 August 2013 | by (Corning, California) – See all my reviews

So many of the great film actresses from the Golden Age were driven hard by their own ambitions and the maintenance of stardom: they seemed unable to gracefully leave the screen and their considerable achievements, and would rather be horrors than has-beens. Joan Crawford's last film was the dreadful Trog, Bette Davis appeared as the Wicked Stepmother, and even Mae West, at age 85, creeped her fans out in the tedious Sextette. I thought of Mae West especially, and her attempt to be sexy while watching Lana Turner negotiate her way in the exploitation film The Big Cube.

If you want to understand how mainstream America envisioned the 1960's counterculture and all that it implied--psychedelic colors, heavy drugs and trippy music--the first 30 minutes of this nutty camp classic have it right: a visit to a San Francisco nightclub is a complete hoot, full of coeds dropping sugar cubes (LSD) into their beer, a freak out in the center of the dance floor so bad the police arrive (rather quickly, as if they had been waiting offstage) to drag the poor victim to rehab--and even, however briefly, a topless dancer!

But to return to Lana Turner, trapped in a bad situation when her husband drowns unexpectedly and she's left with an avaricious stepdaughter whose malicious boyfriend (George Chakiris, who should have fired his agent for casting him in this turkey) decides the two of them should drug mama and drive her slowly mad; Lana hasn't a clue why she's having psychedelic hallucinations, and one hopes she wasn't secretly hoping this was her final chance for an Oscar as she screams and wails and carries on like Godzilla on a bender.

This wild immersion in off-the-wall exploitation is entertaining fun for the first half, and then gets bogged down in the melodrama; Lana's co-star, the young Karen Mossberg, competes with her mother for worst blonde wig, but her wooden acting style and bizarre accent makes her hard to understand, and she never made another film; watch instead for her redheaded BFF, played by Pamela Rodgers, whose perky personality enlivens the screen with a totally zany sex kitten. TV star Richard Egan maintains a stoic attitude throughout the film, a steady if stolid presence.

This is a fun romp "of a kind," and succeeds at that level. For Lana fans, it's probably fairly horrifying to see the persuasive actress of the excellent Bad and The Beautiful and The Postman Always Rings Twice stuck in such a turkey, but in spite of fairly fuzzed-out lenses and a slightly anorexic appearance, the lady does her best and soldiers on.


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